This is wrong on so many levels...

… that it is difficult to decide where to start. I came across this par of adds in tuesday’s paper (the smaller ad on the left hand was on the front page and the the bigger one on the right was on page 7): For those not able to decipher dutch, this is a an add for a crowdfunding project that claims that ‘an app for granny’ is ‘the solution for healthcare austerity’ and encourages readers to donate toward the further development of the the healthcare-phone app. Apparently this app would allow old…

Local != local (or how not to position urban renewal projects)

Earlier today on the A-train Saturday morning we paid a brief and very disappointing visit to De Hallen, a new multi use space constructed in a former tram depot in Amsterdam west. The entire complex, which is still under construction, is nestled within a dense residential neighbourhood, next to a daily street market. Once fully operational it will contain restaurants, a food hall, shops and workspaces, a branch of the municipal library, a bike parking and yet another upscale hotel. The concept…

On organisations stunning ability to absorb nonsensical claims about technology

So i have finally managed to finish Adam Greenfield’s Against the smart city (i had lapsed soon after this picture was taken). The book is well worth reading and contains a number valuable insights but there is one passage that stands out for me. Towards the end of the book (or pamphlet as Adam refers to it) he explains why his method of examining the language of marketing and promotional copy of IT vendors is important even though the same vendors, when challenged on the claims contained in it…

How the Bitcoin protocol could help ‘improve’ copyright

Couple of weeks ago i posted the observation below on my tumblr. reposting this here since i have just come across an article in Slate (‘How the Bitcoin Protocol Could Help Improve Copyright‘) that makes the interesting argument that what i characterized as an ‘evil’ property might just as well be turned into something really useful. have been thinking a lot about this short exchange from a planet money podcast on bitcoin from a few weeks back. Makes me suspect that the one bitcoin that i am kee…

Eliminating the advantage of speed

The NYT has this longish article on the story behind IEX, a ‘fair’ stack exchange explicitly designed to neutralize the advantages of high speed traders (at the core this involves the 38-mile coil of fiber optic cable in a box) depicted below. In this article an IEX employe lays out a theory of why there are so many Russians involved in high speed trading operations, which pretty much confirms my theory on the relation between high speed trading and soviet economics from 2012: Sokoloff was Russi…

How pushing for more copyright is harming the Internet

Over on his blog Mike Linksvayer has reviewed a new paper titled IP in a World Without Scarcity by Mark Lemley. Based on his review i will definitely read the paper (i am writing this just after take off on a 10 hour flight and i am cursing myself for not downloading the paper) and it seems that so should pretty much anyone who is working on IP (or as mike would prefer: commons) issues. In hs review Mike takes a small detour in which he lists the ways of how the Internet has been damaged by the…

Europa Prima Pars Terrae in Forma Virginis

Europa Prima Pars Terrae in Forma Virginis (1582) by Heinrich Bünting Found this in yesterdays newspaper, next to an article comparing the current state of the European Union to the state of the Habsburg Empire right before its collapse. Not sure about that comparison, but the map is amazing.…

On self driving cars

In his most recent deezen column Dan Hill provides some much needed perspective on the self driving cars hype. I completely agree with him, that while endlessly fascinating, self driving cars are rather problematic idea. Instead of improving the way personal mobility is organised they primarily attempt to improve a deeply flawed system: Here we see such companies are not actually interested in genuine change, for all their bluster about “radical disruption”. Self-driving cars are a sticking plas…

Hamiltonian cathedrals and the the Jeffersonian bazaar

Tumblr pointed me to a fascinating essay on the structure of our economic system. In ‘The American cloud‘ Venkatesh Rao explores the economic system of the United States by applying the much hyped cloud metaphor to the production, flows and consumption of goods. While it is not without flaws (reading it one might be tempted to believe that the USA are a self sufficient economy without any connections to the rest of the world) the essay provides an interesting perspective on our times. At the cor…

Young and reckless / bye bye facebook

So I finally killed (well deactivated) my Facebook account this morning after not using it for a month. in order to do so I had to log on one last time. Turns out that while I was away had tagged me in this picture taken at the 1st human powered rollecoaster in Vancouver in 1996: Guess this is facebook’s farewell present to me: A picture where I am young, reckless & blond! If my memory serves me correctly this shot was taken after I had been eliminated in the semi (or quarter) finals of the…